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Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP

Kansas City

Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP - Kansas City
  • 2555 Grand Boulevard
  • Kansas City
  • Missouri
  • USA
  • MO 64108-2613
  • Tel:816 474 6550
  • Fax:816 421 5547
  • Web:Visit website
  • Chairman: John F Murphy
  • Managing Partners: Michelle Mangrum (Washington, DC), Daniel Molony (Tampa), Doug Robinson (Orange County), James Shepherd (Houston), William Geraghty (Miami), Tammy Webb (San Francisco)
  • Number of partners & counsel: 259
  • Number of attorneys: 453
  • International Offices: The firm also has offices in Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
  • Other US Offices:  
  • California  
  • Orange County Tel: 949 475 1500
  • San Francisco Tel: 415 544 1900
  • District of Columbia  
  • Washington, DC Tel: 202 783 8400
  • Florida  
  • Miami Tel: 305 358 5171
  • Tampa Tel: 813 202 7100
  • Texas  
  • Houston  Tel: 713 227 8008

Firm Overview:
Shook, Hardy & Bacon has long been recognized as one of the premier litigation defense firms in the country. For more than a century, SHB has defended companies in their most substantial national and international products liability, mass tort and complex litigation matters. SHB’s success in these areas has captured the attention of many in the industry, including The American Lawyer, which recognized the firm as its Product Liability Litigation Department of the Year in its 2012 and 2008 contests, as well as a finalist in the 2010 edition. The ABA Journal has described SHB as the ‘darling of corporate America’ and ‘the firm many of the world’s biggest companies turn to at the first hint of trouble’. For eight consecutive years, Shook, Hardy & Bacon has also been named the Global Product Liability Law Firm of the Year by Who’s Who Legal: The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers and named to the IP Law & Business rankings ‘Who Protects Innovation in America?’ and ‘Top Guardian of the IP Nest’.

Main Areas of Practice:
Shook, Hardy & Bacon is known for its abilities and expertise in litigation – more than 90 percent of its attorneys are litigators and many have advanced degrees in health and sciences fields. The firm has represented leading international companies in a variety of industries, including tobacco, pharmaceutical and medical device, chemical and automotive. In the past three years alone, SHB lawyers have tried more than 35 cases to verdict in state and federal courts, successfully defending clients against claims involving products liability, environmental and toxic tort, patent infringement, labor and employment and other claims against their businesses.
Shook, Hardy & Bacon has represented the industry’s leading pharmaceutical manufacturers for nearly 40 years. The firm currently serves or has served as National Counsel in litigations for six of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies, as well as for many other pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. The firm has also represented US cigarette manufacturers in product liability litigation continuously since 1957, and currently represents the largest US tobacco company as lead trial counsel in its pending litigation.
Over the past several years, the firm has leveraged its complex products litigation expertise to expand into several other practice areas and advance its mission of ‘being the best in the world at providing creative and practical solutions at unsurpassed value’. As a result, the firm has built substantial national practices in intellectual property, environmental and toxic tort litigation, employment litigation, commercial litigation, government enforcement and compliance and public policy. While products liability remains a core strength and a growth area for the firm, practice diversification allows SHB to offer additional services and expertise to its long-standing institutional clients.

Unbeatable Value:
The American Lawyer reported that Shook, Hardy & Bacon ‘approaches potential new clients with an underdog’s attitude’, calling attention to ‘the firm’s experience handling litigation as effectively as the New York firm next door, but for less money’. The magazine has been highlighting SHB’s use of alternative fee arrangements for several years. The American Lawyer also reported that ‘the firm’s Kansas City base also allows it to bill at least a quarter less than coastal competitors. Some 29 percent of the firm’s work is covered by alternative fee arrangements’.
Law360 reported similarly that SHB has ‘stayed on top in the recession, leveraging its Midwestern roots to provide unbeatable value to clients’, and the ABA Journal maintains that SHB has ‘defended everything frompharmaceuticals and medical devices to automobiles, chemicals, consumer products and foods’, adding that, ‘part of its appeal, according to clients, are lower rates than those charged by firms of similar size and experience in larger cities’.

Shook, Hardy & Bacon has represented more than half of the current Fortune 100 companies. The firm’s clients include global industry leaders who demand proven legal strategies. As a result, the firm has developed long-standing relationships with many of its clients. ‘There is no short list for national counsel of a major pharmaceutical company that doesn’t include Shook’, said the former General Counsel of one of the nation’s leading pharmaceutical companies in a recent article on SHB. Another client added that Shook attorneys litigate like they’re going to trial, but not unnecessarily. ‘If a matter does end up going to trial, they’ll be in the best possible position to defend it’, the SHB client told the ABA Journal.


  • 2555 Grand Boulevard,
  • Kansas City,
  • Missouri
  • USA
  • MO 64108-2613
  • Tel 816 474 6550
  • Fax 816 421 5547
  • Website : www.shb.com

Environment - Florida

THE FIRM This environmental practice is highly regarded for its high-quality lawyers. The team handles a plethora of environmental issues, including litigation and compliance work, and has managed complex multiparty and private party environmental claims. Clients include Motorola Solutions and Freescale Semiconductor. 

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "exceptional" John Barkett is renowned for his work in Superfund allocation cases, and is also recognized in mediation and litigation in the environmental field. Sources state that "he has a well-respected practice and national reputation." He currently serves as special master with respect to the Florida Everglades restoration.

Litigation - Florida

THE FIRM This 24-partner team enjoys a superb reputation in Florida and beyond for its wide-ranging litigation work. It handles a varied caseload, including environment and employment disputes and product liability matters. With a solid network of offices in the USA and abroad, the firm is well placed to serve clients with multijurisdictional needs. In a recent highlight, the group represented Bausch & Lomb in product liability litigation involving 1,800 plaintiffs.

Sources say: "The group has really broad expertise and did a brilliant job."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Market observers hail Kenneth Reilly as "a magnificent lawyer with a keen ability to think quickly on his feet and execute a plan flawlessly." He is renowned for his work in tobacco cases.

Edward Moss is "a senior trial attorney and litigator with gravitas who is very well respected," according to sources. He is lauded as "honest, smart and strategically capable." 

William Geraghty "offers excellent quality and is a remarkable trial strategist," say interviewees. He represents a number of high-profile clients, such as Philip Morris USA.

Hildy Sastre is widely regarded as "top trial counsel for mass torts." Her practice centers around product liability issues.

Environment - Missouri

THE FIRM Litigation powerhouse Shook Hardy & Bacon is widely lauded for its success in significant environmental and toxic tort actions in both environmental and state courts across the USA. The 55-strong group focuses on getting clients back to business as soon as possible, and is also sought out for transactional and regulatory compliance. Key matters include the Passaic River litigation in New Jersey, where the team acted as common litigation counsel to the 113 third-party defendants involved in challenging the state's attempts to seek damages for alleged pollution in the Passaic River.

Sources say: "I believe that Shook is unsurpassed in its ability to successfully manage complex litigation and other related matters." "I have specifically appreciated their willingness to work with me to help control costs. Also very good at maintaining an appropriate level of communication."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head David Erickson is described by a client as "a very experienced, skilled and professional litigation lawyer." His peers point out that he is "somebody who would definitely be on my conflict referral list." His clients include Coca-Cola, who he represented in an environmental and mass tort action regarding the historic treatment of wastewater at the company's plant near Paw Paw.

Terry Satterlee has continued to represent the St Louis Sewer District in litigation against the EPA, the State of Missouri and the Missouri Coalition for the Environment alleging violations of the Clean Water Act. Sources say: "The market recognizes her as one of the best lawyers in Kansas City."

Mark Anstoetter "has consistently demonstrated an exceptional understanding of complex environmental and toxic tort matters," report interviewees.

Clients praise Thomas Grever as "extremely responsive and easy to work with. He has proven to be very practical and efficient in providing advice, and in negotiation." He acted for International Paper on a Superfund private party cost recovery action pertaining to the remediation of a contaminated lumber and plywood mill.

Intellectual Property - Missouri

THE FIRM This Kansas City-based firm has an excellent reputation for litigation work, and its IP litigation practice is no exception. The firm has been especially active in defending clients against patent troll litigation. It recently represented DuPont with regard to litigation concerning 11 patents for automated seed sampling, known as 'chipping'. The group also draws praise for its work on patent preparation, risk analysis, trademark, and copyright and licensing matters. It advises big-name clients such as Microsoft, Coca-Cola and Nike.

Sources say: "I have been impressed by Shook’s combination of expertise, trial skill and business savvy." 

KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head Trent Webb is sought out for technology and engineering mandates. He is head of IP litigation for the firm and is deeply appreciated by clients for his litigation skills. A source said: "He is excellent in his thought processes and litigation management."

Mike Gross is described as "polished and professional," and is especially noted for his work on patent prosecution and engineering. Along with Webb he has filed many patent applications over the past year for Sprint Nextel and Nike.

Labor & Employment - Missouri

THE FIRM Litigation heavy hitter Shook, Hardy & Bacon is noted for its effective work on class actions, wage and hour disputes, and discrimination cases. Recent matters include acting as lead counsel for Foot Locker in connection with a New York action brought by assistant managers, filed under both state and federal law, successfully reducing a statewide class action by 1,000 employees to a group action by only 25. Other key clients include Cerner, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Layne Christensen and NPC International.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Star player William Martucci operates in a league of his own when it comes to employment law. He is singled out for his deep knowledge, together with his "tremendous people skills" and "very good trial presence." He recently acted for Philip Morris in an age discrimination and retaliation case.

Carrie McAtee is noted for her experience working with government agencies as well as her success in mediation. She was recently part of the team that helped PlattForm Advertising to resolve a class action by call center employees in the District Court of Kansas. She is described as "excellent - very efficient, good to work with, and her knowledge of Missouri law is superb."

Litigation - Missouri

THE FIRM This firm's stellar reputation stems from its excellent capabilities in product liability defense, built on its representation of tobacco companies. Its offering remains very strong in this area, and now is equally robust in its work for the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. The team is also skilled in the commercial, IP, labor and employment, and environmental spheres. The practice counts Ford and Coca-Cola among its clients, and continues to act for Philip Morris in a large number of product liability matters. Other representative matters include acting for Bausch & Lomb in defending allegations that its contact lens solution caused a fungal infection of the cornea.

Sources say: "They're very experienced, with good support staff. Good strategic thinkers at all levels." 

KEY INDIVIDUALS Eugene Balloun is the vice chair of the firm's general litigation committee. He brings over 40 years of experience in litigation to assist clients. His practice is mainly focused around tort, antitrust and business litigation, as well as appellate matters.

William Sampson receives top marks for being "extraordinarily accommodating, well connected, very practical and very smart." He works on a range of matters, particularly product liability cases. 

Robert Adams is a key partner in the firm's representation of Boston Scientific and Covidien in a mass litigation involving pelvic mesh products. Sources say: "He is outstanding - one of the best in the state."

Harvey Kaplan is described as "the dean of the pharmaceutical defense Bar" because of his "tremendous experience, knowledge and information at his fingertips." He is currently representing Mylan Pharmaceuticals as national counsel in more than 1,300 product liability cases across several states.

Joseph Rebein's practice includes acting for clients on antitrust matters and securities class actions. He is also experienced in mediation and arbitration proceedings.

Gene Voigts is a senior partner who has been practicing for more than 35 years. He has a varied practice which encompasses both civil and criminal cases.

Todd Ruskamp is recognized for his skilled handling of complex matters, and is described as "one of the go-to guys for business-related litigation." He specializes in advising clients in the telecom and financial services sectors, and also works on bankruptcy and restructuring mandates.

Products Liability - Nationwide

THE FIRM This firm is a major player in the tobacco sphere and is widely respected for its track record at trial level. Pharmaceuticals and toxic torts are other areas of note, with recent work including continuing to act as national counsel for Mylan Pharmaceuticals in litigation relating to the heart failure and arrhythmia drug Digitek. Additional highlights include the successful representation of Centocor at the appellate level in a case concerning prescription drugs. This resulted in a previous award of $4.6 million being overturned. The firm's other leading clients include Philip Morris, Ford and Coca-Cola. 

Sources say: "They have done a phenomenal job, handling the cases in an efficient and straightforward manner."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Harvey Kaplan is chair emeritus of the firm's pharmaceutical and medical device practice. He is praised by one source as "the dean of the pharmaceuticals defense Bar; someone who has a lot of knowledge and information at his fingertips." He took the lead in the Digitek litigation for Mylan Pharmaceuticals.

Kenneth Reilly is lauded as "one of the most wonderful trial lawyers." "He applies a creative and innovative approach to these cases and is always seeking ways to improve our trial performance and outcomes," sources comment. He represents Philip Morris in the Engle Progeny trials.

Sean Wajert wins praise for his broad-based expertise in litigation. He currently acts as national counsel to Firmenich on nationwide litigation relating to the chemical diacetyl, exposure to which is alleged to have caused plaintiffs lung injuries.